SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - On Mardi Gras, many people enjoy some favorite New Orleans dishes at the one place locals head to for Fat Tuesday.
"Welcome, happy Mardi Gras. Look at you all ready to go! See, we are matching beads," said Errol Williams as he greeted customers.
Williams has been the general manager of The Palace Grill in downtown Santa Barbara for more than two decades.
He looks forward to this day every year and said it's all about the Cajun-Creole food.
"Of course, this is where one goes to celebrate Mardi Gras," said Williams.
The restaurant gets started early with preparations for the New Orleans-style cuisine.
For the customers from the Big Easy, the food is a reminder of home.
"There's this thing called Chicken Tchoupitoulas and I used to work on Tchoupitoulas Street," said Maryann Atchley, a New Orleans native.
Some of the other favorites are catfish sandwiches, black beans and rice and lamb.
But the once-a-year dish at the restaurant is the crawfish boil.
"Just maybe put a little parsely on top, maybe paprika, and that's it. It can go to the table," said Juan Juarez, after making a fresh plate.
The restaurant filled up quickly as diners feasted on Fat Tuesday food.